Blizzard strands hundreds on Virginia highway, including senator

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Blizzard strands hundreds on Virginia highway, including senator

Hundreds of drivers, including a US senator, were stranded overnight in the freezing cold on a Virginia highway after a severe snowstorm battered the region Monday.

A 50-mile stretch of Interstate 95 came to a standstill in both directions Monday afternoon when six tractor-trailers were involved in an accident — and it became impossible to move them as several inches of snow and ice accumulated.

No one was injured in the collision but it left hundreds of motorists stuck in frigid temps on the major US highway for “extraordinary” amounts of time, Virginia Department of Transportation engineer Marcie Parker said in a statement.

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), who lives in Richmond, tweeted Tuesday morning that he was among those stranded.

Heavy snow and high winds forced officials to close dozens of state roads in eastern Oregon on Monday
State and local emergency crews were working early Tuesday to clear disabled vehicles.
Oregon Department of Transportation via AP
closed section of Interstate 95 near Fredericksburg, Va. Tuesday Jan. 4, 2022
Both northbound and southbound sections of the highway were closed due to snow and ice.
Virginia Department of Transportation via AP
a stranded car on the highway as major winter snow storm hitting the Northern Virginia area cripples traffic at the start of the work week
Hundreds of drivers were stranded overnight.
MediaPunch/Shutterstock

“I started my normal 2 hour drive to DC at 1pm yesterday,” Kaine tweeted early Tuesday. “19 hours later, I’m still not near the Capitol.”

Kaine said his office is communicating with VDOT officials in an effort to assist other stranded drivers.

Another stranded driver, Susan Phalen, told CNN she and her four dogs were still stuck in her car on I-95 south of Stafford early Tuesday after leaving her Fredericksburg home at 8 p.m. Monday for a trip that usually takes an hour.

Pile-up of vehicles on Interstate 95 due to winter storm and freezing temperatures.
A stranded driver said she and her four dogs were still stuck in her car early Tuesday.
WJLA via Reuters
closed section of Interstate 95 near Fredericksburg, Va. Monday Jan. 3, 2022.
A 50-mile stretch of Interstate 95 came to a standstill in both directions Monday afternoon.
Virginia Department of Transportation via AP
Pile-up of vehicles on Interstate 95 due to winter storm and freezing temperatures
Between 7 and 11 inches of snow was dumped in the area.
WJLA via Reuters

“This [is] one for the record books,” Phalen told CNN. “I could have walked there faster.”

State and local emergency crews were still working desperately early Tuesday to clear disabled vehicles and rescue the stranded drivers between exit 104 in Ruther Glen and exit 152 in Dumfries.

Between 7 and 11 inches of snow was dumped in the area during Monday’s blizzard, according to the National Weather Service.

View of a stranded bus as a major winter snow storm hitting the Northern Virginia area cripples traffic at the start of the work week in the new year
Motorists are being warned to avoid I-95 in the area.
MediaPunch/Shutterstock
A tree lies across Scotchtown Road in Hanover County, Va., during a snowstorm Monday, Jan. 3, 2022.
A tree lies across Scotchtown Road in Hanover County, Va., during a snowstorm Monday, Jan. 3, 2022.
Alexa Welch Edlund/Richmond Times-Dispatch via AP
A boat is covered with snow as it is docked in Ego Alley in downtown Annapolis, Md., Monday, Jan. 3, 2022.
A winter storm packing heavy snow rolled into the District of Columbia, northern Virginia and central Maryland overnight.
AP Photo/Susan Walsh

“This is unprecedented, and we continue to steadily move stopped trucks to make progress toward restoring lanes,” Virginia Department of Transportation engineer Marcie Parker said in a statement Tuesday.

Many primary and secondary roads in the region were still snow-covered Tuesday or blocked by downed trees.

Motorists are being warned to avoid I-95 in the area until the lanes are reopened and significant backups are cleared.

A man walks down Wesleys Court in Hanover County, Va., as snow falls Monday, Jan. 3, 2022.
Many primary and secondary roads in the region were still snow-covered Tuesday.
Alexa Welch Edlund/Richmond Times-Dispatch via AP
Pile-up of vehicles on Interstate 95 due to winter storm and freezing temperatures
Drivers were stranded for hours, with I-95 closed for nearly 48 miles.
WJLA via Reuters
Trees laden with snow lie on Blanton Road in Hanover County, Va., Monday, Jan. 3, 2022.
Trees laden with snow lie on Blanton Road in Hanover County, Va., Monday, Jan. 3, 2022.
Alexa Welch Edlund/Richmond Times-Dispatch via AP

“Even as travel lanes reopen, additional time will be needed to assist motorists who have been stopped for extended periods on I-95 overnight, and in some cases since Monday morning,” Virginia Department of Transportation officials said.

Officials said late Monday crews would work nonstop until all state roadways were safe for travel.

“We wish we had a timetable, ETA or an educated guess on when travel will resume on I-95,” the agency tweeted with a photo of what appeared to be hundreds of stranded vehicles. “It’s at a standstill in our area with multiple incidents. Its frustrating & scary.”

A person makes their way down Broad Street on Monday, Jan. 3, 2022, in Richmond, Va
Officials said crews would work nonstop until all state roadways were safe for travel.
Shaban Athuman/Richmond Times-Dispatch via AP
Pile-up of vehicles on Interstate 95 due to winter storm and freezing temperatures. Drivers have been stranded for hours, with I-95 closed for nearly 48 miles.
The collision left hundreds of motorists stuck in frigid temperatures.
WJLA via Reuters
Pile-up of vehicles on Interstate 95 due to winter storm and freezing temperatures. Drivers have been stranded for hours, with I-95 closed for nearly 48 miles.
Six tractor-trailers were involved in an accident.
WJLA via Reuters

With Post wires

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